July is perhaps our most exciting month at New Summit Academy as the summer brings our annual International Aventura to Peru! This year’s trip was especially meaningful as students engaged with a curriculum created by our Aventura teachers, therapists and Experiential Education mentors with a view toward building a greater sense of community among students and staff to bring back to our NSA campus.
After arriving in Peru, students began their journey with a tour of the colonial town of Cuzco before traveling by train to Machu Picchu, which is always a highlight of the trip.
Next, students split into two groups and, with their staff group leaders, followed the same itinerary, but in reverse order. One group began a high-altitude trek in the Auzangate region of the Andes, learning about the sacred gods – or Apus – of the mountains. The hikes were demanding, but the views made them worth the effort!
The second group began their trip with a 3-day whitewater rafting adventure, navigating class III and IV rapids (plus portaging around the class V’s), and camping along the spectacular river banks. Our English teacher, Brooke, was impressed with the way students cooperated in navigating the challenging portages.
The two groups reunited in the middle of their journeys in the indigenous village of the Amaru people, who welcomed them with a traditional ceremony complete with flutes and drums. Both groups spent the day working side-by-side with the Amaru helping them prepare fields for planting. The day culminated in a celebratory lunch prepared by the villagers.
NSA’s summer International Aventura has always been an unforgettable experience for those who participate. The students, now back on campus with stronger bonds within their community and ready to begin the school year, will be telling stories of their trip for weeks to come.
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